Savoring the 2023 Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend
Pictured is a wine pour at the festival grounds of the Santa Barbara Vintner's Festival

Savoring the 2023 Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend


The Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend is one of the most awaited wine events of the year. This year, the festival took place on April 21-23, and it was an absolute treat for wine enthusiasts worldwide. The event was organized by the Santa Barbara Vintners Association, a non-profit organization that promotes the region's wine industry. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the 2023 Santa Barbara Vintner's Festival Weekend and explore the various events that took place during the festival.

The Grand Tasting

The Grand Tasting is the centerpiece of the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend. This year, the event occurred on April 22 at the River View Park in Buellton. The Grand Tasting is an opportunity for wine lovers to taste the best wines from over 100 wineries in Santa Barbara County. The participating wineries offered various wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and other varietals.

One of the highlights of the Grand Tasting was the opportunity to meet the winemakers themselves. This allowed wine enthusiasts to learn more about the wine-making process and the story behind each winery. It was fascinating to hear about the different techniques used to produce each wine and the unique challenges each winery faces.

The food at the Grand Tasting was also a delight. Food trucks and pop-ups offered various cuisines, from tacos to oysters to wood-fired pizza. The food was designed to complement the wine and enhance the overall tasting experience. It was an excellent opportunity to try new and exciting flavor combinations. Winemaker Dinners

Another event that took place during the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend was the Winemaker Dinners. The dinners were hosted by various wineries and restaurants throughout the region, offering guests a chance to enjoy a unique dining experience paired with exceptional wines.

The dinners were held on April 21 and 22, each with a different theme. Some of the themes included "Wine and Dine," "Spring Fling," and "Farm to Table." The menus were designed to highlight the best local ingredients and paired with the finest wines from the region.

The winemaker dinners were an opportunity to meet the winemakers and learn more about their wines. It was also a chance to explore different regional wineries and restaurants. Each dinner was unique, and guests left with a deeper appreciation for the art of winemaking and the culinary talents of the chefs. Seminars and Workshops

In addition to the Grand Tasting and the Winemaker Dinners, the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Weekend also offered a range of seminars and workshops. These events were designed to educate guests about various aspects of wine-making and wine-tasting.

One of the most popular seminars was the Pinot Noir Seminar on April 21. The seminar was led by renowned winemaker Bob Cabral and allowed guests to taste some of the best Pinot Noirs from Santa Barbara County. Cabral shared his insights on the unique characteristics of the region's Pinot Noirs and how they differ from other regions.

Another popular seminar was the Wine and Cheese Pairing Workshop, held on April 22. The workshop was led by a local cheese expert and offered guests a chance to learn about the different types of cheese and how to pair them with wine. It was a fun and interactive event that gave guests the skills to create their own perfect wine and cheese pairings at home.

Live Music and Entertainment

No wine festival is complete without live music and entertainment, and anticipation is building for the live entertainment that will accompany the wine tastings, culinary experiences, and other activities planned for the weekend. From music to theater to dance, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This blog post will cover the various performances and events attendees can look forward to at the 2023 Vintners Festival.


Music is always a highlight of the Vintners Festival, and this year promises to be no exception. The festival will feature a variety of musical genres, from jazz and blues to country and rock. Here are some of the acts that attendees can expect to see:

  1. The Jazz Ambassadors: This world-renowned jazz ensemble is part of the United States Army Field Band and will perform at the festival on Saturday afternoon. The Jazz Ambassadors have performed in all 50 states and 35 countries, and their music is sure to delight fans of the genre.
  2. The Doobie Brothers: This legendary rock band will be headlining the festival's Saturday evening concert. With hits like "What a Fool Believes" and "Listen to the Music," the Doobie Brothers will surely get the crowd dancing and singing along. Kacey Musgraves: This Grammy-winning country singer will be performing on Sunday afternoon. Known for her sweet voice and catchy lyrics, Musgraves will surely be a crowd-pleaser.
  3. Los Lobos: This Chicano rock band has been making music for over 40 years and will perform on Sunday evening. With a unique blend of rock, blues, and Latin rhythms, Los Lobos will surely bring the house down.
  4. The California Honeydrops: This Oakland-based band plays a mix of blues, jazz, and funk, and they will be performing on Friday evening. With a horn section and a lead singer who plays the washboard, the California Honeydrops put on a high-energy show that is not to be missed.


In addition to music, the Vintners Festival will feature several theater performances in addition to music. From classic plays to contemporary works, these shows will captivate audiences. Here are some of the productions that attendees can expect to see:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream: This classic Shakespearean comedy will be performed by the Pacific Conservatory Theatre on Saturday afternoon. With mistaken identities, love triangles, and magical hijinks, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a crowd-pleaser that is perfect for a summer festival.
  • The Great Gatsby: Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this play tells the story of the wealthy and enigmatic Jay Gatsby and his doomed love affair with Daisy Buchanan. The Ensemble Theatre Company will perform The Great Gatsby on Sunday afternoon.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: This award-winning play tells the story of a teenage boy with autism who sets out to solve the mystery of his neighbor's murdered dog. The play explores themes of family, love, and the nature of truth, and the Rubicon Theatre Company will perform it on Friday afternoon.


Finally, the Vintners Festival will feature several dance performances that showcase a variety of styles and traditions. From ballet to contemporary dance, these performances are sure to dazzle audiences. Here are some of the shows that attendees can expect to see:

  • The Joffrey Ballet: This renowned ballet company will perform on Saturday evening. With a repertoire that includes classic and contemporary pieces, the Joffrey Ballet will impress dance enthusiasts and novices alike.
  • The Mark Morris Dance Group: This contemporary dance company is known for its innovative choreography and playful sense of humor.


~ Kay Syrah
Wine Country Guru Gal

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